|Cho Dang Gol|
Menu: View the Menu
One step into Cho Dang Gol and you'll know you are someplace special. But it's not the decor. In fact, the space is quite simple with its wood beams, slate floor, rice paper lamps and a mural of what appears to be trees blowing in the wind.Review By: Sam Sayegh
Instead, it is the friendly staff and what comes out of the kitchen that makes Cho Dang Gol so special. And why you'll be lucky to find a table which isn't such an easy task. We recommend getting their early.
When you do arrive, each table is presented with an assortment of familiar Korean dishes to nibble on as you wait for your appetizers and entrees. The house kimchi, a mix of seasoned cabbage and radish, is better than most, as is a dish of rice noodles mixed with bean sprouts, carrots and fresh greens. Dried anchovies were both crisp and chewy at the same time with a nice fishy flavor. It took some getting used to, especially looking at their shiny little heads. But on the end of your chopsticks they are actually quite good and addictive. Miniature potato pancakes, with shreds of fresh scallion, also hit the spot. Only the mackerel was a bit too salty and bony for my liking.
One great way to take in all the tastes is with a special appetizer called Gak Saek Jun. It's actually a series of pancakes. Some are mixed with leek and squash, while others arrive with kimchi and ground pork toppings. All are very good.
From someone who doesn't really like tofu that much, I was amazed at the creaminess of the soy dish in this restaurant. In one dish I tried, the tofu arrived in a piping hot and quite spicy casserole called Hae Mul Cham Doo Boo. It was accompanied by a rich seafood broth with tiny shrimps scattered throughout and one larger one, with its bright orangy-pink feelers and beedy black eyes still attached, floating on top. It's the type of dish I found myself hoping would never end. And yes, I tilted my bowl to get every drop.
Unlike many Korean barbecues where the meat is grilled tableside, Cho Dang Gol does all of its handiwork in its open-air kitchen. But don't be disappointed. The marinated prime rib slices, and some with the meat still attached to the bone, arrive on a sizzling stone plate. The meat was tasty and tender, just don't expect a huge rack of ribs. In fact, most plates tend to be somewhat small, yet we found them to not only to be filling, but quite fulfilling.
There's also no need for dessert when you final taste is a honey-sweetened ginger tea. Yum!
Neighborhood: West 30s
Entree Price: $15-20
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